The Corps Network Responds to Historic Nomination of Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM) for U.S. Secretary of the Interior

Rep. Haaland on Capitol Hill, meeting with a Corpsmember from
the ASL Inclusion program at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps-New Mexico.


WASHINGTON, DC –– On Thursday, December 18, President-Elect Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM) to be the next Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

Rep. Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico, would become the first Native American Cabinet Secretary. During her time in Congress, Rep. Haaland has demonstrated support for Service and Conservation Corps. Earlier this year, language encouraging federal resource management agencies to engage Corps in project work on public lands was incorporated into the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act, or SOAR Act (H.R.3879), originally introduced in the House by Rep. Haaland in 2019.

A statement from Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO of The Corps Network:

On behalf of America’s Service and Conservation Corps community, I extend sincere congratulations to Rep. Debra Haaland. Rep. Haaland is a champion for the interests of youth, Native American communities, rural families, and the environment. We have appreciated her efforts in Congress to advance legislation in support of communities of color and the maintenance of our lands and waters. We are grateful for the numerous occasions during her service in Congress in which Rep. Haaland has taken time to visit with Corps and listen to the stories of Corpsmembers. We look forward to the opportunity to continue working with her in a new capacity to engage our young people in important work and service with the Department of the Interior.

Earlier this year, in July 2020, Mary Ellen Sprenkel and Dwayne Lefthand, Taos Pueblo Conservation Program Coordinator at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps – New Mexico, were invited to provide testimony during a virtual hearing – “The Restoration Economy: Examining Environmental and Economic Opportunities” – held by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, Chaired by Rep. Haaland. Learn more here.

Rep. Haaland meeting with with staff from Conservation Legacy and
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps-NM on Capitol Hill.